As news of a possible government shutdown spreads across the country, hard-liners in the GOP are reportedly plotting to replace Congressman Steve McCarthy of Georgia with a deputy in the event that McCarthy refuses to support a political budget deal. The speculation began after several right-winged websites reported that McCarthy had been less than supportive of the plan, which is viewed by some as the only way to avoid a government shutdown. In response, McCarthy’s office released a statement denying any knowedge of such a plan, adding that the Congressman fully supports a “responsible deficit-reduction plan” to avoid a shutdown. Despite his denials, speculation has continued that McCarthy has come under the scrutiny of more conservative elements within the GOP who are reportedly scheming to replace him with a more suitable deputy. Reports have indicated that the deputy they are eyeing is Rep. Matt McBeath, a Southern conservative from Kentucky. McBeath, who has long been a vocal critic of both fiscal and social policy, is widely seen as a more palatable choice for the hard-liners in the GOP. In addition, it is speculated that the deferral of the budget negotiations to after the Thanksgiving recess has added fuel to this rumors. Regardless of the reason behind the speculation, replacing McCarthy with a deputy would be a drastic move with far-reaching implications for both the GOP and the country at large. With the federal government heading into uncharted political waters, it remains to be seen how this possible power-shift in the GOP will play out.